There are colleges of advanced technology established since 1956 for preparing students for degree in technology. Regional colleges of technology are larger in number and they prepare students for diplomas and Higher National Certificates.
They give education in scientific and technological subjects. The colleges of advanced technology prepare students for post-graduate and research degrees. They are separately established. Regional colleges of technology function independent of colleges of advanced technology.
The third types of technical colleges prepare students for technical education of the intermediate standard. They prepare students for Ordinary National Certificates and certificates awarded by London Institute of City and Guilds. The Ordinary National Certificates are given through part-time education. Therefore these certificates are also called Certificates of Technicians.
These certificates are awarded by the Education Ministry and also by the concerned industrial institutions. These industrial institutions approve the curriculum prescribed by the colleges and appoint persons for examinations on the basis of which certificates are awarded.
Certificates are awarded on the basis of the examination result of the prescribed curriculum. For the Ordinary National Certificate one should be of at least 18 years of age and the duration of the course is three years. For the Higher National Certificates one has to study for two years more.
From 1938 to 1997 the number of students has roughly increased from 12 to 160 times or even more.
Number of Students – 1938 – 1997
1. Ordinary National Certificates – 3,393 – 90,000
2. Higher National Certificates 1, 137 50,000. The part-time education system in Great Britain has been more successful than the full-time. The full-time students in the National Certificate Course are give education in electrical, mechanical, mining, architectural and production courses. In 1992 there were more than 15,000 students studying these subjects for the National Certificate.
The London Institute for City and Guilds prepares students for various trades and awards certificates of intermediate standards and final certificates of a higher standard.
These certificates are recognised in foreign countries as well. For the Intermediate Certificate one has to study for 2 years and for the Final Certificate one has to study for 2 years more.
Besides these two types of certificates, the London Institute for City and Guilds awards many other kinds of trade certificates. These trade certificates are awarded on the basis of one year study after the Final Certificate course.
The London Institute for City and Guilds generally awards certificates to those students who are working as apprentices in the related trades. For this education the mill or factory- owners give their employees leave for one working day per week. From 1950 to 1992 the number of such students has increased about 40 times.
The government wanted that by 1992 their number should have increased 50 times. Some mill and factory-owners do not give leave to their apprentices for this education.
In addition to these certificate-courses, the technological colleges prepare students for other examinations such as—General Certificate of Education (G.C.E.) of London University Examination for the Membership of Vocational Institutions and Diploma of National Bakeries, etc. Some commercial colleges prepare students for National Certificates of various types of vocational abilities related to different trade organisations.
Colleges of Arts:
In addition to technological colleges there are some Arts Colleges which prepare students in various subjects of arts for the award of the certificate by the London Institute of City and Guilds. Besides Arts Colleges, some technical schools also prepare students for certificates in arts subjects.
For example, technical schools prepare students for such arts subjects as printing and glass technology. But, printing and decoration are taught by Arts Colleges only. In 1958, the Education Minister appointed a National Advisory Council to advise the Government on education in arts. Two types of awards are given on the basis of the examinations.
1. Intermediate certificates in art and architecture.
2. National Diplomas.
For Intermediate diplomas the course is of two years duration of full time in any Arts College. The minimum age for this certificate is 18 years. For the National Diploma the minimum age should be 19 years.
The course is of two years of full-time duration or three years of part-time duration. Two types of examinations are taken for the National Diploma awards.
One in special subject and another in the main subjects. There are about 30 main subjects. The number of additional subjects is quite large. The colleges concerned arrange for examinations on the approval of the Education Ministry.
Responsibility for the development of the agricultural education is placed on the Education Minister since April 1, 1959. Agricultural education is both part-time and full-time. A farm institute gives full-time education and part-time is given by technical colleges and other educational organisations engaged in Further Education.
Administration of Technical Education:
The Education Minister is the highest administrative officer of technical education in England and Wales. But there are certain committees for advising them. There are 9 Regional Advisory Councils in England and one Joint Education Committee in Wales for advising the Education Minister on technical education in their respective regions.
The Local Education Authorities organise and support these councils and committees. The Education Minister has appointed a National Council of Education to inspect technical education work and give advice on the same.
The Education Ministry awards some scholarships in order to make technical education more attractive and easier. Only students experienced in some work and of less than 20 years of age are given scholarships.
In 1975, about 500 such scholarships were awarded. For these scholarships generally students of Further Education Colleges with two years full curriculum or students working for higher national certificates are considered.